Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen Sebelius65 former governors, mayors back bipartisan infrastructure deal Fauci: 'Horrifying' to hear CPAC crowd cheering anti-vaccination remarks The Memo: Biden and Democrats face dilemma on vaccine mandates MORE made her first public remarks Monday about former adviser Jonathan Gruber, condemning his comments that a “lack of transparency” helped pass ObamaCare.
“I think Jonathan Gruber's comments are just offensive and flat-out wrong. There couldn't have been more open discussions,” Sebelius said in a rare appearance on CNN’s “New Day.”
She pointed to the dozens of markups and hearings by five congressional committees and said the idea that the administration was trying to obscure the law in order to assure its passage “is really ludicrous.”
Last week, Sebelius refused to answer questions about Gruber at a speaking event, telling The Blaze, “I don’t have a comment about his comments.”
Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has become a major political headache for the Obama administration as it fights to keep its signature healthcare law alive.
The former consultant was paid $400,000 from the White House for his work and has since been denounced by top Democrats, from President Obama to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
Sebelius also waded into the most recent ObamaCare controversy: a GOP-led investigation that found the Department of Health and Human Services had double-counted nearly 400,000 healthcare plans. As a result, the enrollment count had surpassed 7 million, which Sebelius had said last year would indicate a “success” for her.
She dismissed Republican criticism that the numbers had been intentionally inflated, saying it was “absolutely a mistake.”
“Transparency has been a huge part of this program,” she said. “There was a lot of speculation that would wouldn't get anywhere near 7 million, so I think that's good news.”